Milo Yiannopoulos, a controversial conservative speaker and technology editor at Breitbart, spoke Thursday to students at American University. Protesters assembled outside and claimed that Yiannopoulos represents hate speech against minority groups, particularly transgender people.
As Yiannopoulos began speaking, he explained that he would donate $20 to Donald J. Trump every time he’s interrupted.
Within the first minute, a protester with a sign stood up and was promptly removed by campus police. The sign read “Roses are red, violets are blue, Milo we’re too woke [sic] to tolerate you.”
“Hate Speech ≠ Free Speech.”
As the protester was removed, Stephanie Black stood up at her seat with a sign that read “Hate Speech ≠ Free Speech.” She remained in place in silent protest for the entire event.
“I am all for free speech. I am. But there is an enormous difference between free speech and hate speech, and hate speech was only what Milo had to offer,” Black later told News2Share. “So I stood there, for nearly two hours, to show that his hateful rhetoric was not welcome on my campus and that I stand in solidarity with everyone whom he directed his hate to.”
As the Q&A came to a close, one man went to the microphone and asked, “How do you equate the Black Lives Matter movement with black supremacy?” Yiannopoulos supporters began yelling “Trump!” and “Black privilege!” as a shouting match ensued among various wings of the audience.
Yiannopoulos refused to answer. “You’re standing up and expecting special treatment now sir. Questions are over. You’re demanding to be heard on the basis that if I don’t answer you’re question, I’m racist. Sit down.”
“I Don’t Give a Shit What You Believe.”
News2Share’s Ford Fischer asked whether alienating groups makes it harder to bring people into his point of view.
“I Don’t Give a Shit What You Believe,” Yiannopoulos began. He explained that he sees himself as a “hell-raiser” like Donald Trump or Ann Coulter and that he sees this as more useful than an inclusive ideology.
“I’m well aware that my style is not going to win over everybody, but that’s not my function.”
Fischer then asked Yiannopoulos, “Do you actually believe the stuff you say?”
“Ya, I don’t say anything I don’t believe,” he replied.
Filmed by Ford Fischer and Alejandro Alvarez